Sightings – Plants

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/4/20

Observation Time: 11:15 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Dame’s Rocket

Scientific Name: Hesperis matronalis

Comments: Dame’s rocket (Hesperis matronalis) is a tall, short-lived perennial, which produces white, pink or purple flowers in the spring. Known for its colorful and fragrant blooms, the plant has been a traditional garden favorite. However, in recent years, Dame’s rocket has gone rogue, moving from yards and garden plantings into the adjoining landscapes. These flowers were growing rampantly in the Billings Loop meadow.

More Information: Applied Ecological Services

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/23/18

Observation Time: 9:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Dandelion

Scientific Name: Taraxacum officinale

Comments:  Native to Europe, it has spread nearly worldwide. The young leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. The taproot can be boiled and eaten or dried and ground as a base for a hot drink.

More Information: Go Botany

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/2/19

Observation Time: 3:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Along the dirt road under the power lines on the other side of South Main Street from Ward’s Berry Farm

Common Name: Deer-tongue Grass

Scientific Name: Dichanthelium clandestinum

Comments: Deer-tongue grass is a perennial cool-season grass native to eastern North America. It grows to 2′ to 4′ tall. It is tolerant of low pH soils, high concentrations of aluminum, drought conditions, and infertile soils. For these reasons, it is used in revegetating acid mine sites. Deer-tongue grass prefers moist to wet sites and does best in full sun. This grass produces two seed crops; a spring crop in an open panicle and a fall crop that remains mostly enclosed in the leaf sheath. Birds eat the seed and the plant lodges during the winter forming a dense cover for wildlife.

More Information: Roundstone Native Seed

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/12/20

Observation Time: 6:40 p.m.

Observation Location: along Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Deer-tongue Grass

Scientific Name: Dichanthelium clandestinum

Comments: Deer-tongue grass is a perennial cool-season grass native to eastern North America. It can grow up to 4′ tall. It is tolerant of low pH soils, high concentrations of aluminum, drought conditions, and infertile soils. For these reasons, it is used in revegetating acid mine sites. Deer-tongue grass prefers moist to wet sites and does best in full sun. This grass produces two seed crops; a spring crop in an open panicle and a fall crop that remains mostly enclosed in the leaf sheath. Birds eat the seed and the plant lodges during the winter forming a dense cover for wildlife.

More Information: Roundstone Native Seed and Illinoiswildflowers.info

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/27/15

Observation Time: 3:30 p.m.

Observation Location: my back yard (Gavins Pond Road)

Common Name: Deptford Pink

Scientific Name: Dianthus armeria

Comments: Deptford Pink is an introduced species from Europe.

More Information: Maryland Biodiversity Project

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/6/14

Observation Time: 12:45 p.m.

Observation Location: near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Deptford Pink

Scientific Name: Dianthus armeria

Comments:The Deptford pink is a European species, introduced and widespread in North America. Its name refers to the English town near London in which this species was formerly common.

More Information: Go Botany

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/13/20

Observation Time: 3:30 p.m.

Observation Location: Mountain St.

Common Name: Devil’s Beggarticks

Scientific Name: Bidens Frondosa

Comments: A summer annual that may reach as much as 3 1/2 feet in height.  Devils beggarticks has prickly fruit that facilitate seed dispersal by sticking to the fur and clothing of any animal or human that brushes by this weed when mature.  Devils beggarticks is primarily a weed of pastures, hay fields, roadsides, landscapes, and nurseries.  It is found throughout the United States.

More information: University of Missouri

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/26/10

Observation Time: 5:25 p.m.

Observation Location: edge of woods by Gavins Pond near soccer fields

Common Name: Dewberry

Scientific Name: Rubus flagellaris

Comments: Dewberries are found in the eastern half of North America. Indians prepared a tea using northern dewberry roots to calm stomach irritation. The fruits are large and tasty. They can be eaten raw or used in jams, jellies, and sauces.

Dewberries start out green, then turn to orange, then red, and finally black when fully ripe.

More Information: Wikipedia

Dewberry blossom photographed on 5/26/10:

Northern Dewberry

Unripe dewberries photographed on 6/27/10:

Northern Dewberry

Ripening dewberries photographed on 6/28/10 at 147 Wolomolopoag St.

Northern Dewberry

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/28/10

Observation Time: 2:00 p.m.

Observation Location: 154 Wolomolopoag St.

Common Name: Dewberry

Scientific Name: Rubrus species

Comments: Not sure if this is Rubrus flagellaris, the northern dewberry, or some other Rubrus species such as Rubrus hispidus, the swamp dewberry.

More Information: Dewberries and Brambles: University of Massachusetts

Observer: Rita Corey

Observation Date: 8/13/20

Observation Time: 1:40 p.m.

Observation Location: Rattlesnake Hill

Common Name: Downy Rattlesnake Plantain Orchid

Scientific Name: Goodyera pubescens

Comments: Please don’t dig up wildflowers.

More Information: Virginia Native Plant Society

Observer: Rita Corey

Observation Date: 6/23/19

Observation Time: 2:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Rattlesnake Hill

Common Name: Downy Rattlesnake Plantain Orchid

Scientific Name: Goodyera pubescens

Comments: Please don’t dig up wildflowers.

More Information: USDA Plant Fact Sheet

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/14/11

Observation Time: 2:10 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Dwarf ginseng

Scientific Name: Panax trifolius

Comments: This diminutive variety of ginseng has no “medicinal” properties.
It blooms in spring and dies back in summer.

More Information: US Forest Service

Dwarf Ginseng

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/9/20

Observation Time: 5:00 p.m.

Observation Location: conservation land across the street from the Gavins Pond soccer fields

Common Name: Eastern Redcedar Tree

Scientific Name: Juniperus virginiana

Comments: Birds love its berries.

More Information: Arbor Day Foundation

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/23/19

Observation Time: noon

Observation Location: Billings Loop Botanical Trail

Common Name: Enchanter’s Nightshade

Scientific Name: Circaea quadrisulcata

Comments: Enchanter’s nightshade is a member of the primrose family.

More Information: UMass Amherst Weed Herbarium

Observer: Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program employees

Observation Date: 9/4/20

Observation Time: 2:00 p.m.

Observation Location: undisclosed location in Sharon

Common Name: False Hop Sedge

Scientific Name: Carex lupuliformis

Comments: False Hop Sedge is an endangered species in Massachusetts. The NHESP observers said they saw only a few plants.

As of 9/4/20, this species does not appear on the list of rare species that have been documented in Sharon.

Please do not dig up or disturb plants you may encounter in the wild.

More information: Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/2/20

Observation Time: 10:55 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: False Solomon’s Seal

Scientific Name: Maianthemum racemosum

Comments: This herbaceous perennial plant is unbranched and grows to about knee-high. The central stem is somewhat erect and ascending. Flowers (then berries) occur at the end of the plant. Flowers occur in a plume-like cluster of minute florets and transform into a “bunch” of ruby red berries (although they do not all ripen at the same time).

The berries are edible and somewhat bittersweet (caution: large quantities can have a laxative effect). In traditional medicine the dried rhizomes can be used to brew a tea to treat coughs and constipation.

More Information: Edible Wild Food

Note the flower at the tip end of the plant. This distinguishes it from true Solomon’s Seal, which has flowers hanging in a row along the underside of the stem.

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/4/20

Observation Time: 11:20 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Field Horsetail

Scientific Name: Equisetum arvense

Comments: Field horsetail, a perennial plant of genus Equisetum, is the only living representative of the very ancient and primitive class Sphenopsida, tree-sized members of which were prominent in the land vegetation of the Carboniferous era (353-300 million years ago).

More Information: Minnesota Seasons

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/30/10

Observation Time: 6:10 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Fly Agaric mushroom

Scientific Name: Amanita muscaria

Comments: Mushrooms of the genus Amanita account for most mushroom-related deaths. See: http://www.a1b2c3.com/drugs/var012.htm

Fly Agaric Mushroom

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/30/20

Observation Time: 3:50 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm

Common Name: Golden Ragwort

Scientific Name: Senecio aureus (also known as Packera aurea)

Comments: Golden Ragwort is a biannual plant with yellow-orange flowers. It grows to a height of 2 feet and belongs to Asteraceae family (i.e. asters).

More Information: New Moon Nursery

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/4/11

Observation Time: 2:20 p.m.

Observation Location: conservation land near Billings Street

Common Name: Golden Ragwort

Scientific Name: Senecio aureus

Comments: Golden Ragwort is a biannual plant with a yellow flower that grows upto a height of 2 feet and belongs to Asteraceae family (i.e. asters).

More Information: HealthBenefitsTimes.com or Illinois Wildflowers

Golden Ragwort

Golden Ragwort

Golden Ragwort

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/12/09

Observation Time: 11:25 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond

Common Name: Goldenrod

Scientific Name: Solidago sp.

Comments: Goldenrod gets a bad rap as a cause of autumn allergies. The real culprit is ragweed. In fact, goldenrod has medicinal properties.

More Information: Great Plains Nature Center

Goldenrod

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/9/20

Observation Time: 2:40 p.m.

Observation Location: meadow near Gavins Pond dam

Common Name: Gray Birch Tree

Scientific Name: Betula populifolia

Comments: Gray Birch is a small tree reaching a height of 20 to 30 feet. Bark is grayish white with little exfoliation compared to River Birch. Leaves are triangular with a narrow point, doubly serrated and fall color is light yellow. Branches become reddish brown with in a year and a dark V-shape patch appears just below. Gray Birch will grow in the poorest soils. Its wood is used for spools, barrel hoops and fuel. Several species of birds feed on the seeds and buds.

More Information: Native Trees of Indiana

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/15/20

Observation Time: 9:40 a.m.

Observation Location: near Pond Street rotary by Lake Massapoag

Common Name: Ground Ivy (a.k.a. “Gill-over-the-ground”)

Scientific Name: Glechoma hederacea

Comments: Commonly known as ground-ivy, gill-over-the-ground, creeping charlie, alehoof, tunhoof, catsfoot, field balm, and run-away-robin, it has numerous medicinal uses, and is used as a salad green in many countries. European settlers carried it around the world, and it has become a well-established introduced and naturalized plant in a wide variety of localities.

More Information: Go Botany and Wikipedia and Wildflowers of the United States

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/23/18

Observation Time: 8:40 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: Ground Ivy (a.k.a. “Gill-over-the-ground”)

Scientific Name: Glechoma hederacea

Comments: Commonly known as ground-ivy, gill-over-the-ground, creeping charlie, alehoof, tunhoof, catsfoot, field balm, and run-away-robin, it has numerous medicinal uses, and is used as a salad green in many countries. European settlers carried it around the world, and it has become a well-established introduced and naturalized plant in a wide variety of localities.

More Information: Go Botany and Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/26/19

Observation Time: 8:40 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: Ground Ivy (a.k.a. “Gill-over-the-ground”)

Scientific Name: Glechoma hederacea

Comments: Commonly known as ground-ivy, gill-over-the-ground, creeping charlie, alehoof, tunhoof, catsfoot, field balm, and run-away-robin, it has numerous medicinal uses, and is used as a salad green in many countries. European settlers carried it around the world, and it has become a well-established introduced and naturalized plant in a wide variety of localities.

More Information: Go Botany and Wikipedia and Wildflowers of the United States

Observer: Kathy Farrell

Observation Date: 1/5/17

Observation Time: N/A

Observation Location: Path off Mountain Street, Sharon

Common Name: Ground Pine Club Moss (a.k.a. Princess Pine)

Scientific Name: Lycopodium obscurum

Comment: Also known as a “princess pine.” It looks like a baby pine tree, and stays green even in the winter.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Rita Corey

Observation Date: 8/13/20

Observation Time: 1:50 p.m.

Observation Location: Rattlesnake Hill

Common Name: Halberd-leaved Tearthumb

Scientific Name: Persicaria arifolia

Comments: Halberd-leaved tearthumb has distinctly arrow-shaped leaves with outward-pointing projections at the base. The stem is covered with small downward-curving barbs that gives this small annual wetland vine its common name. A halberd is a medieval battleaxe.

More Information: Go Botany

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/12/11

Observation Time: 6:55 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Hay-scented Fern

Scientific Name: Dennstaedtia punctilobula

Comments: Hay-scented fern is very common in Sharon. It is often found growing in large colonies, forming a green carpet on the forest floor. It can be identified by its lacy, light-green fronds. It can be confused with New York fern, but hay-scented fern has triangular fronds, whereas New York fern fronds taper to tiny leaflets at the bottom.

More Information: Connecticut Botanical Society

Hay-Scented Fern

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/23/18

Observation Time: 6:55 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary (Billings loop)

Common Name: Hay-scented Fern

Scientific Name: Dennstaedtia punctilobula

Comments: Hay-scented fern is very common in Sharon. It is often found growing in large colonies, forming a green carpet on the forest floor. It can be identified by its lacy, light-green fronds. It can be confused with New York fern, but hay-scented fern has triangular fronds, whereas New York fern fronds taper to tiny leaflets at the bottom.

More Information: Go Botany

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/13/20

Observation Time: 2:25 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Rd.

Common Name: Heller’s Rosette Grass

Scientific Name: Dichanthelium oligosanthes

Comments: I identified this peculiar clump of grass using a cool app called Seek. It sprang up in a cleared and mulched area where there was no competition from other grass.

More Information: Friends of the Wildflower Garden

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/30/10

Observation Time: 4:30 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Highbush blueberry

Scientific Name: Vaccinium corymbosum

Comments: The northern highbush blueberry, is a North American species of blueberry which has become a food crop of significant economic importance. It is native to eastern Canada and the eastern and southern United States, from Ontario east to Nova Scotia and south as far as Florida and eastern Texas.

More Information: Highbush Blueberry

Highbush Blueberry

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/26/12

Observation Time: 2:05 p.m.

Observation Location: Near the train station tennis courts by Beaver Brook

Common Name: Honey Mushroom

Scientific Name: Armillaria mellea

Comments: Honey mushrooms are a plant pathogen and cause Armillaria root rot in many plant species. They appear around the base of trees they have infected. The symptoms of infection appear in the crowns of infected trees as discolored foliage, reduced growth, dieback of the branches and death. The mushrooms are edible but some people may be intolerant to them. This species is capable of producing light via bioluminescence in its mycelium.

Armillaria mellea is widely distributed in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The fruit body or mushroom, commonly known as stump mushroom, stumpie, honey mushroom, pipinky or pinky, grows typically on hardwoods but may be found around and on other living and dead wood or in open areas.

More Information: Wikipedia

Honey Mushrooms

Honey Mushrooms

Honey Mushrooms

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/22/18

Observation Time: 10:55 a.m.

Observation Location: Town-owned conservation land near Sandy Ridge Circle

Common Name: Honeysuckle

Scientific Name: Lonicera spp.

Comments: Bush honeysuckles are invasive deciduous shrubs that grow up to 20 feet tall. There are three species of bush honeysuckle common in the region including tartarian (Lonicera tatarica), Morrow’s (Lonicera morrowii), and Amur (Lonicera maackii). All species are similar in appearance, with simple, opposite, oval-shaped leaves. Honeysuckles bloom in May and June, producing fragrant white or pink flowers. Berries are round, fleshy and red. The center of twigs on invasive bush honeysuckles are hollow, a trait that distinguishes the invasive species from their native look-alikes.

More Information: Adirondack Park Invasive Plants

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/30/20

Observation Time: 4:45 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: Indian Cucumber Root

Scientific Name: Medeola virginiana

Comments: Indian cucumber-root is a common perennial of the forest understory in New England. As the name suggests, the edible root tastes somewhat like cucumber.

More Information: Go Botany

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/14/09

Observation Time: 7:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm, Trustees of Reservations land

Common Name: Indian Pipe

Scientific Name: Monotropa uniflora

Comments: Indian pipe, also known as ghost plant (or ghost pipe) or corpse plant, is a herbaceous perennial plant native to temperate regions of European Russia, Asia, North America and northern South America, but with large gaps between areas. It is generally rare in occurrence.

Unlike most plants, it is white and does not contain chlorophyll. Instead of generating energy from sunlight, it is parasitic, more specifically a myco-heterotroph. Its hosts are certain fungi that are mycorrhizal with trees, meaning it ultimately gets its energy from photosynthetic trees. Since it is not dependent on sunlight to grow, it can grow in very dark environments as in the understory of dense forest. It is often associated with beech trees. The complex relationship that allows this plant to grow also makes propagation difficult.

More Information: Wikipedia

Indian Pipe

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/23/19

Observation Time: 10:45 a.m.

Observation Location: Billings Loop Botanical Trail

Common Name: Indian Pipe

Scientific Name: Monotropa uniflora

Comments: Indian pipe, also known as ghost plant (or ghost pipe) or corpse plant, is a herbaceous perennial plant native to temperate regions of European Russia, Asia, North America and northern South America, but with large gaps between areas. It is generally rare in occurrence.

Unlike most plants, it is white and does not contain chlorophyll. Instead of generating energy from sunlight, it is parasitic, more specifically a myco-heterotroph. Its hosts are certain fungi that are mycorrhizal with trees, meaning it ultimately gets its energy from photosynthetic trees. Since it is not dependent on sunlight to grow, it can grow in very dark environments as in the understory of dense forest. It is often associated with beech trees. The complex relationship that allows this plant to grow also makes propagation difficult.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/26/10

Observation Time: 3:20 p.m.

Observation Location: headwaters of Beaver Brook

Common Name: Indian Pipe

Scientific Name: Monotropa uniflora

Comments: Indian pipe, also known as ghost plant (or ghost pipe) or corpse plant, is a herbaceous perennial plant native to temperate regions of European Russia, Asia, North America and northern South America, but with large gaps between areas. It is generally rare in occurrence.

Unlike most plants, it is white and does not contain chlorophyll. Instead of generating energy from sunlight, it is parasitic, more specifically a myco-heterotroph. Its hosts are certain fungi that are mycorrhizal with trees, meaning it ultimately gets its energy from photosynthetic trees. Since it is not dependent on sunlight to grow, it can grow in very dark environments as in the understory of dense forest. It is often associated with beech trees. The complex relationship that allows this plant to grow also makes propagation difficult.

More Information: Wikipedia

Indian Pipe

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/4/20

Observation Time: 1:20 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm

Common Name: Indian Pipe

Scientific Name: Monotropa uniflora

Comments: Indian pipe, also known as ghost plant (or ghost pipe) or corpse plant, is a herbaceous perennial plant native to temperate regions of European Russia, Asia, North America and northern South America, but with large gaps between areas. It is generally rare in occurrence.

Unlike most plants, it is white and does not contain chlorophyll. Instead of generating energy from sunlight, it is parasitic, more specifically a myco-heterotroph. Its hosts are certain fungi that are mycorrhizal with trees, meaning it ultimately gets its energy from photosynthetic trees. Since it is not dependent on sunlight to grow, it can grow in very dark environments as in the understory of dense forest. It is often associated with beech trees. The complex relationship that allows this plant to grow also makes propagation difficult.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/4/20

Observation Time: 1:25 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: Interrupted fern

Scientific Name: Osmunda claytonia

Comments: The species name (claytoniana) is a tribute to John Clayton, an 18th century botanist and one of the earliest collectors of plant specimens in what later became the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The common name (Interrupted Fern) is a reference to the fact that the blade of fertile fronds is interrupted by several fertile leaflets in the midsection. Early sources refer to this fern as Clayton’s Fern.

More Information: Ferns of the Adirondacks

Interrupted fern (left) and hay-scented fern (right):

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/30/10

Observation Time: 4:10 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Iris (harlequin blueflag)

Scientific Name: Iris versicolor

Comments: The species has been implicated in several poisoning cases of humans and animals who consumed the rhizomes, which have been found to contain a glycoside, iridin. The sap can cause dermatitis in susceptible individuals.

More Information: The Flower Expert

Iris (Harlequin Blueflag)

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 10/7/10

Observation Time: 3:15 p.m.

Observation Location: end of Lee Road

Common Name: Japanese Barberry

Scientific Name: Berberis thunbergii

Comments: This specimen was a few yards beyond the end of Lee Road near the Atlantic White Cedar Swamp drainage ditch. Japanese barberry is often planted for hedges, and easily spreads to natural areas, as this specimen evidently did.

“In recent years the plant has been recognized as an invasive species in parts of the eastern United States; it is avoided by deer and has been replacing native species. Further, the plant raises the pH of the soil and affects its nitrogen levels. In Canada its cultivation is prohibited as the species can act as a host for Puccinia graminis (black rust), a rust disease of wheat. Currently there are breeding and selection programs aimed at producing cultivars that are either sterile or produce relatively little seed.” Wikipedia

More Information: Wikipedia

Japanese Barberry

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/24/10

Observation Time: 7:50 a.m.

Observation Location: near Gavins Pond outflow pool

Common Name: Jewelweed

Scientific Name: Impatiens capensis

Comments: Jewelweed, which often grows in disturbed areas near poison ivy, is also an antidote for poison ivy.

More Information: Altnature.com

Jewelweed

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/13/20

Observation Time:  5:20 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Joe Pye Weed

Scientific Name: Eupatorium purpureum

Comments: Joe Pye Weed is an herbaceous, late-blooming perennial native to much of the U.S. It is a wildflower and an herb that was used as an herbal remedy to lower fevers and other maladies. The plant is named after a Native American herbalist. The lance-shaped leaves grow in whorls around the otherwise green stem which is purple where the leaves attach.

Butterflies feed on the flowers of Joe Pye weed when they bloom in late summer.

More Information: thespruce.com

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/15/18

Observation Time: 1:10 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Joe Pye Weed

Scientific Name: Eupatorium purpureum

Comments: Joe Pye weed is an herbaceous, late-blooming perennial native to much of the U.S. It is a wildflower and an herb that was used as an herbal remedy to lower fevers and other maladies. The plant goes by the common name Joe Pye weed, named after a Native American herbalist. The lance-shaped leaves grow in whorls around the otherwise green stem which is purple where the leaves attach.

More Information: thespruce.com

Spicebush swallowtail butterflies and monarch butterflies were feeding on Joe Pye weed blossoms that day:

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/22/13

Observation Time: 2:10 p.m.

Observation Location: King Phillip’s Rock area

Common Name: Ladies’ Tresses Orchid

Scientific Name: Spiranthes cernua

Comments: These wild white orchids grow on a spiral stalk (hence the name Spiranthes).

More Information: Go Orchids or Nature Northeast

Ladies' Tresses Orchid

Ladies' Tresses Orchid

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/18/20

Observation Time: 10:50 a.m.

Observation Location: under high tension lines across the street from the Gavins Pond soccer fields

Common Name: Lance-leaved Violet

Scientific Name: Viola lanceolata

Comments: One of only a few white-flowered stemless violets, lance-leaved violet inhabits sandy or peaty shorelines and marshes as well as more disturbed sites. The narrow lance-shaped leaves are distinctive.

More Information: Go Botany

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/15/13

Observation Time: 6:20 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area

Common Name: Lanceleaf Tickseed

Scientific Name: Coreopsis lanceolata

More Information: Go Botany

Lanceleaf Tickseed

Lanceleaf Tickseed

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/12/20

Observation Time: 6:55 p.m.

Observation Location: along Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Lanceleaf Tickseed

Scientific Name: Coreopsis lanceolata

Comments: This native perennial wildflower thrives in poor, sandy or rocky soils with good drainage. It is tolerant of heat, humidity and drought.

Lanceleaf tickseed features solitary, yellow, daisy-like flowers (1-2″ diameter) with eight yellow rays (toothed at the tips) and flat yellow center disks. Flowers bloom atop slender, erect stems from spring to early summer. Narrow, hairy, lance-shaped leaves (2-6″ long) appear primarily near the base of the plant.

More Information: Native Florida Wildflowers and Missouri Botanical Gardens

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/4/20

Observation Time: 2:30 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: Late Purple Aster

Scientific Name: Symphyotrichum patens

Comments: Late purple aster looks similar to smooth aster — they both have purple rays and clasping leaves. Distinguish them by their stems — late purple aster has a rough, hairy stem; smooth aster has a smooth stem with a whitish coating.

More Information: Connecticut Botanical Society

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 10/17/10

Observation Time: 10:00 a.m.

Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Lingzhi mushroom

Scientific Name: Ganoderma tsugae

Comments: This mushroom specimen was growing in the tamarack (larch) grove in my back yard. It is probably growing on a root, as it was growing on the ground right next to a big tamarack tree. Since tamaracks are coniferous, this specimen is presumably Ganoderma tsugae, rather than Ganoderma lucidum, which grows on deciduous trees.

Apparently, these mushrooms are valued for their medicinal properties.

More Information: Cornell Mushroom Blog

Lingzhi Mushroom

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/3/10

Observation Time: 9:45 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond

Common Name: Little Floatingheart

Scientific Name: Nymphoides cordata

Comments: The little floatinghearts are the smaller, darker, heart-shaped floating pads visible in the photo among the bigger, greener rounder water lilies. The small, five-petalled white flowers are those of little floatingheart. Water lilies have much bigger floating blossoms (see photo taken September 12, 2009).

More Information: USDA

Little Floatingheart

Observer: Constance Keegan

Observation Date: 10/1/10

Observation Time: Daytime

Observation Location: By a large oak tree in my yard on Moosehill Pkwy

Common Name: Maitake mushroom

Scientific Name: Grifola frondosa

Comments: Also called “hen of the woods,” G. frondosa should not be confused with Laetiporus sulphureus, another edible bracket fungus that is commonly called “chicken of the woods.” Like all polypores, the fungus becomes inedible when older, because it is then too tough to eat.

More Information: Wikipedia

Maitake

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/4/11

Observation Time: 3:00 p.m.

Observation Location: conservation land near Billings Street

Common Name: Maple-leaf Viburnum

Scientific Name: Viburnum acerifolium

Comments: Maple-leaf viburnum has long been cultivated for its attractive summer flowers and foliage; then the autumn leaves turn rose-purple and contrast with the mature dark fruits. The plants will thrive in moist soils and a range of light conditions but they are a good choice for dry soils in deep shade. They can be used along forest edges, streamsides, and lakeshores.

More Information: USDA Plant Guide

Maple-Leaf Viburnum

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/9/20

Observation Time: 4:30 p.m.

Observation Location: shady woods near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Maple-leaf Viburnum

Scientific Name: Viburnum acerifolium

Comments: Maple-leaf viburnum has long been cultivated for its attractive summer flowers and foliage; then the autumn leaves turn rose-purple and contrast with the mature dark fruits. The plants will thrive in moist soils and a range of light conditions but they are a good choice for dry soils in deep shade. They can be used along forest edges, streamsides, and lakeshores.

More Information: USDA Plant Guide

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/13/14

Observation Time: 8:05 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: May apple

Scientific Name: Podophyllum peltatum

Comments: Check out this well-written blog about May apples:

 66 SQUARE FEET (PLUS) blog

May Apple

Observer: Peter Higgins

Observation Date: 10/17/08

Observation Time: 5:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (Trustees of Reservations)

Common Name: Milkweed

Scientific Name: Asclepias syriaca

Comments: Milkweed is an important food source for butterflies, moths and other insect species. It has been decimated by the application of glyphosate herbicide (a.k.a. Roundup) on vast fields of corn and soybeans that have been genetically modified to tolerate glypohosate.

More Information: Scientific American

Milkweed

Milkweed

Milkweed

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/22/15

Observation Time: 5:20 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area

Common Name: Milkweed

Scientific Name: Asclepias syriaca

Comments: Monarch butterflies depend on milkweed as a food source for their caterpillars. The advent of genetically modified “Roundup-ready” corn and soybeans has facilitated large-scale application of herbicides, reducing the availability of milkweed to migrating monarchs. Hence, the monarch population is in steep decline. Homeowners wanting to help monarchs can inadvertently hurt them by planting the wrong kind of milkweed (Ophryocystis elektroscirrha). Unfortunately, native milkweed that monarchs need is harder to propagate.

More Information: Science

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/27/15

Observation Time: 2:45 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area

Common Name: Milkweed flower

Scientific Name: Asclepias syriaca

Comments: Many species of butterflies including monarchs depend on milkweed as a food source for their caterpillars. The advent of genetically modified “Roundup-ready” corn and soybeans has facilitated large-scale application of herbicides, reducing the availability of milkweed to migrating monarchs. Hence, the monarch population is in steep decline. Homeowners wanting to help monarchs can inadvertently hurt them by planting the wrong kind of milkweed (Ophryocystis elektroscirrha). Unfortunately, native milkweed that monarchs need is harder to propagate.

More Information: Science

Observer: Rita Corey

Observation Date: 6/23/19

Observation Time: 3:45 p.m.

Observation Location: 282 Mountain Street

Common Name: Mock Orange

Scientific Name: Philadelphus coronarius

Comments: Mock orange shrubs have flowers that are rich with nectar and attract butterflies. They are native to Southeast Europe and Italy.

More Information: the spruce

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/9/19

Observation time: 4:15 p.m.

Observation Location: beginning of the trail at the end of Brook Road

Common Name: Money Flower (a.k.a. Honesty)

Scientific Name: Lunaria annua

Comments: The seed pods of the money flower are shaped like coins. This flower originated from the Balkans and southwest Asia. Its popularity as a garden flower means that colonies are most often seen near to towns and villages. It thrives in partial shade on woodland edges.

More information: First Nature

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/30/20

Observation Time: 2:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: Mouse-ear chickweed

Scientific Name: Cerastium fontanum

Comments: Mouse-ear chickweed is a herb. Herbs are broad-leaved, herbaceous (non-woody) plants. Herbaceous plants are also known as forbs or wildflowers.

More Information: Kansas Native Plants

Observer: Deborah Radovsky

Observation Date: 6/7/20

Observation Time: 8:45 a.m.

Observation Location: Quincy St.

Common Name: Multiflora rose

Scientific Name: Rosa multiflora

Comments: Multiflora rose is a deciduous shrub with white flowers and red fruit. Brought here from Asia, it was planted as wildlife food, and also as a living fence, due to its dense growth and sharp thorns. It can grow to 10 feet high or more, and is typically wider than it is tall.

It forms dense thickets in fields and field edges, crowding out other species. It also grows in open wetlands and in forests where canopy openings occur.

More Information: Massachusetts Audubon

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/14/14

Observation Time: 10:50 a.m.

Observation Location: Sharon

Common Name: Narrow-leaved spring beauty

Scientific Name: Claytonia virginica L.

Comments: This rare wildflower is only found in nine towns in Massachusetts. Please do not dig up wildflowers!

More Information: Mass. Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program

Narrow-Leaved Spring Beauty

Narrow-Leaved Spring Beauty

Narrow-Leaved Spring Beauty

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/18/20

Observation Time: 11:35 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (formerly the Kendall Estate)

Common Name: New York Ironweed

Scientific Name: Vernonia noveboracensis

Comments: New York ironweed is a tall, perennial wildflower that produces small purple blossoms in August and September. This specimen is approximately 8 feet tall.

More Information: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/9/20

Observation Time: 2:40 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond dam

Common Name: Norway Maple Tree

Scientific Name: Acer Platanoides

Comments: The Norway maple is native to eastern and central Europe and western Asia, from France east to Russia, north to southern Scandinavia and southeast to northern Iran. It was brought to North America in the mid-1700s as a shade tree. It is quite common in Sharon, and puts on a beautiful display in fall when its leaves turn yellow.

Like sugar maples, Norway maples can be tapped in late winter. Boiling down the sap produces a sweet, delicious syrup. It takes about 30 quarts of sap to produce one quart of syrup.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 4/16/20

Observation Time: 1:45 p.m.

Observation Location: conservation land at Lakeview & Morse

Common Name: Old Man’s Beard lichen

Scientific Name: Usnea strigosa

Comments: Also called bushy beard, this epiphytic (i.e. growing on trees) lichen is a composite organism that emerges from algae or cyanobacteria living among the filaments of the fungi in a symbiotic (mutually beneficial) relationship. The fungi benefit from the carbohydrates produced by the algae or cyanobacteria via photosynthesis. The algae or cyanobacteria benefit by being protected from the environment by the filaments of the fungi, which also gather moisture and nutrients from the environment, and (usually) provide an anchor to it.

More Information: Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources

My friend Tom Palmer of Milton helped me identify this lichen, and provided this photo of some he found on the ground at Moose Hill Farm in Sharon on 5/4/18.

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/12/20

Observation Time: 6:45 p.m.

Observation Location: along Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Oriental Bittersweet

Scientific Name: Celastrus orbiculatus

Comments: This non-native invasive species comes from Asia. It grows as a vine that smothers plants and can topple trees due to its weight.

It was introduced into the United States around 1860 as an ornamental plant. In fall, it produces attractive red and orange berry-like fruit. The stems are cut and used for decoration, which unfortunately facilitates its spread.

Here’s a short video explaining how to get rid of Oriental Bittersweet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRplW9_UhKg

More Information: USDA and Wikipedia

Observer: Lonnie Friedman

Observation Date: 5/30/20

Observation Time: 5:00 pm

Observation Location: near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Oyster Mushroom

Scientific Name: Pleurotus ostreatus 

Comments: This oyster mushroom was growing on a log. I believe it to be edible, but I did not dare test that hypothesis!

More Information: Wikipedia

Here’s the first photo taken 5/30/20:

To confirm the identification, I returned the following afternoon and took these photos to show the “gills” on the underside of the mushrooms:

Top view, photographed on 5/31/20 at around 1:15 pm:

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/14/20

Observation Time: 5:20 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: Palmate Hop Clover

Scientific Name: Trifolium aureum

Comments: Palmate hop clover is an exotic species that is widespread in New England. The common name derives from the fact that as the flower heads age, the florets fold down and become brown, resembling dried hops.

More Information: Go Botany

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/25/15

Observation Time: 2:25 p.m.

Observation Location: Town-owned conservation land at Morse and Lakeview Streets

Common Name: Palmate Hop Clover

Scientific Name: Trifolium aureum

Comments: Palmate hop clover is an exotic species that is widespread in New England. The common name derives from the fact that as the flower heads age, the florets fold down and become brown, resembling dried hops.

More Information: Go Botany

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/15/13

Observation Time: 2:30 p.m.

Observation Location: Conservation land beyond Sandy Ridge Circle

Common Name: Panic Grass

Scientific Name: Dichanthelium sp.

Comments: There are numerous kinds of panic grasses. This one was growing in a wooded area along the trail that parallels Beaver Brook, beginning at the Sandy Ridge Circle cul-de-sac.

More Information: Cape May Plants

Observer: Josh Simons

Observation Date: 9/9/20

Observation Time: 11:00 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill area

Common Name: Parasol mushroom

Scientific Name: Macrolepiota procera

Comments: iNaturalist says this is a parasol mushroom. I thought they had rounded caps, but I do see some flat tops when googling. This was large – maybe 5″ to 6″ in diameter. Very pretty.

More Information: Mushroom-Collecting.com

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/26/10

Observation Time: 5:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Beaver Brook headwaters area

Common Name: Partridgeberry

Scientific Name: Mitchella repens

Comments: Called “noon kie oo nah yeah” in the Mohawk language.

More Information: US Forest Service

Partridgeberry

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/24/10

Observation Time: 8:25 a.m.

Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Rd.

Common Name: Peony

Scientific Name: Paeonia spp.

Comments: Long ago, some observant gardener noticed that ants on peony buds always meant the flowers would open soon. And so a bit of folk wisdom was born: Peonies cannot open until ants eat away the seal that keeps the buds closed. But it isn’t true. The thing the ants are eating is nectar, not glue, and what this does for the peony is make sure there are plenty of ants around to eat any soft-bodied insects that might like to eat peonies.

More Information: Wikipedia

Peony

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/19/19

Observation Time: 3:45 p.m.

Observation Location: Billings Loop Botanical Trail

Common Name: Pignut Hickory Tree

Scientific Name: Carya glabya

Comments: This tree is one of many plants identified along a botanical trail established by Kurt Buermann, President of the Sharon Friends of Conservation.

More Information: Wikipedia